Chewing some cool ice on a warm, sunny day may seem like and innocent snacking habit. It’s refreshing and you satisfy your craving by tricking your body into thinking it’s eating. After all, ice is just solid water. No harmful chemicals, preservatives, sugars or calories. Seems like a healthy habit, right?
Tooth Enamel Decay
Eating anything hard and crunchy is bad news for your teeth. Hard objects like ice, can scrape and chip tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is very strong and durable. In fact, your tooth enamel is one of the hardest tissues in your body. The bad news is that, while it is hard, it is also brittle. Tooth enamel is a protective coating for your teeth. Once the enamel on a tooth is compromised, the tooth itself becomes vulnerable to fractures, cavities and disease. These potential threats can lead to more severe dental issues with potential devastating results, such as lost teeth and gum disease.
Ice and Tooth Enamel: An Unhealthy Combo
While eating food with a lot of sugar, carbohydrates and acidity may be the picture of what you may see of things that eat away tooth enamel, pieces of ice can be just as destructive on tooth enamel. While eating ice occasionally is rather harmless for someone who has healthy, strong teeth, those with dental work like crowns and fillings, and weak teeth can experience severe dental problems.
Most people don’t think of the dangers of ice to our teeth because, in most cases, our saliva melts the ice enough to either become liquid or dissolve into small enough pieces that we think no damage to the tooth enamel is done.
Ice, like other hard foods can scrape and chip tooth enamel. When tooth enamel is compromised, your tooth is exposed and vulnerable to germs and plaque. If proactive treatment isn’t taken, the tooth root can become infected and an abscessed tooth or root canal will result. It can take a couple ice-chewing sessions to cause significant damage to your tooth enamel. What starts out as a small crack in the enamel can gradually expand, exposing more and more to potential germs and plaque.
A side-effect of eating ice and chipping away the enamel on your teeth is the increased risk of tooth sensitivity. As cracks appear and widen on the tooth enamel, more of the nerves inside your tooth will be exposed, causing potentially severe pain.
Whether you’ve eaten too much ice or have espoused another unhealthy dental habit, LeDowns Dentistry is here to help you restore your beautiful smile and dental health. Call or visit one of our four locations today to set up an appointment. Our team of professional dentists will help you reverse the damage done to your mouth efficiently with as little discomfort as possible. We also specialize in invisalign braces which further enhances and restores our patients’ smiles.